Friday, 6 March 2015

Plant Diseases: Leaf Miners

it seems there's a lot of problems with my garden today. I checked my tomatoes plants and I saw that some of the leaves of the tomato have these odd "worm trail"

I have no idea what to do, so we just yanked off the affected sections including the stem. After consulting Professor Google, I learnt that my tomatoes were having a leaf miner infestation! ಥ_ಥ

So what are these awful creatures called leaf miners? Well they're actually larvae of moths and other insects that eats a certain layer of the leaf. 

It's so disgusting. After having nightmares with tapeworms, I get leaf miners!! (ノಥ益ಥ)ノ ┻━┻

 It's not really harmful to plants per se, since it will only eat the leaves. But they do result in poor harvest, slowed growth and a weakened plant. I consider my plants as my pets, and seeing them having these infestation really worries me. I'm sure no owner would want their pet getting weak. 

There are also reported cases that pathogenic bacteria and fungus would invade the trail.... not often, but there are cases.  

If you're growing veggies like I do, you need to get rid of them. By that I meant you must KILL them, or else, they will simply move to another leaf and spread its evilness there.

If there's an organic method, i would go for that. It's not because I'm a hipster vegan whatever that is into the latest health fad. I'm Asian, so, I couldn't care less if they bombed my food with pesticides, as long as it is safe and FDA approved. But, I'm scared to use pesticides cause I don't know how. I'm scared of getting scalded with these chemicals, inhaling the product then suddenly dying and other silly nonesense that people made up to scare children (I believe them unless proven otherwise). If you like pesticides though, you will need to look for the right one for these or else, you'll just end up polluting air cause these larvae are inside the leaves, with a barrier. Also be careful with pesticides as you shouldn't mess up the ecosystem in gardens. If you end up killing their predators, you'll only worsen the infestation, or you might invite leaf miners over to your gardn.. 

One organic method of killing them is by simply squashing them. Just look at the trail and find the yellowish moving larvae and SPLAT! That is if your leaf has a minor infection. If it's killing up the leaf, it's best to just get the leaf and squash that nasty thing, then leave it for compost. One lady from Youtube suggested to feed them to fishes. 

If you don't have the heart to squash them between your fingers, you can use a rock or a smooth pebble. It might damage the leaves if you're not careful though
squashy squashy

In my case, I panicked and killed it with fire

Aromatic Candle from Bath and Body Works in Twilight Woods. Burn you nasty SOB!!

Since it's evening now.. I'll resume the hunt tomorrow. I hope it doesn't infect the rest of my plants. 

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